Summer Student Kathrine on her time spent at the Pitt Meadows Museum this summer.
Hello! My name is Kathrine and I’m a third-year Visual Arts student at Emily Carr University. Through my studies, I’ve found myself drawn to the preservation and restoration of art and artifacts. This is what initially drew me to apply for the summer student position at the Pitt Meadows Museum when I saw it posted up. I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work here over the past few months. The position has been so fulfilling in being able to contribute to researching and restoring historical farm equipment as well as photographing, describing and accessioning artifacts and manuals belonging to Hans Hoffmann.
My time at the museum started with a box full of undescribed and mostly unaccessioned documents and small items. What had seemed at first to be a very daunting task turned out to be quite fun and exciting. I came across several interesting items long hidden in this box such as commemorative coins for Massey-Harris’ 100-year anniversary or an item marked in our database as unknown which I came to find out after some research was a leather key holder.
Another major project of mine over the summer was finding the original colours for our mysterious potato planter. This potato planter was painted in the past but with no idea who the manufacturer was it was painted in Massey-Harris colours. Leslie had recently come across a video of a potato planter that looked just like ours and with that we were able to figure that it was a Farquhar Iron Age planter. With this information, I began my research into what the original colours could have been. Much to my dismay, every existing machine I found was entirely rusted. I had nearly given up until, as I sat here taking a break from my seemingly fruitless search, I saw the thumbnail for an in-colour catalogue. It just so happened someone had listed a Farquhar catalogue with our exact potato planter up on eBay. I think Leslie and I were both a bit flabbergasted when we saw it. Now that we knew what paint we needed, I next had to work on replicating the logo on the side of the planter. It took some tinkering with Photoshop and finding similar fonts to edit but I was able to create a digital version of the logo that may be used as a decal or template in the future. Next up was creating signage for both the Farquhar Iron Age Potato Planter and the Hoover Potato Digger. The signage includes the name, history, mode of operation, photos, and QR codes for info and videos of both.
Between these larger projects were some smaller tasks such as revamping our numbers for the Hoffman Site scavenger hunt, and helping out with Heritage Thursdays. I’ll be finishing off this summer by working on our picture frame displaying Pitt Meadows farms.
All in all, I had a fantastic summer at the Pitt Meadows Museum and wouldn’t have wanted to spend it anywhere else. It was so awesome meeting and working alongside everyone here. I learned so much not only about working with artifacts but also about the community here in Pitt Meadows and how much love is put into the museum. I’m so thankful for the work done here in preserving the rich history of Pitt Meadows. I can’t imagine how much of the information, stories, and artifacts held here would have just disappeared into the void without the efforts of everyone here, especially our incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated curator Leslie Norman.
Thank you so much for this amazing summer!